Jessica Ennis-Hill’s return to heptathlon action got off to a steady but unspectacular start as she finished fifth overall in the 100 metres hurdles at the Hypo-Meeting in Austria.
Ennis-Hill has not competed in the seven-discipline event since winning gold on ‘Super Saturday’ at the 2012 Olympics, after injury and then becoming a mother kept her away from action, and she was some way off her hurdles best in Gotzis as she clocked a time of 13.24 seconds.
That was seven tenths of a second slower than her personal best mark of 12.54secs, which she set when launching her gold-medal charge in London three years ago.
Saturday’s time put Ennis-Hill fourth in her heat and fifth quickest in all.
Germany’s Cindy Roleder was first on the time sheets in 12.99s, while Ukrainian Anastasiya Mokhnyuk was second and Holland’s Nadine Visser third.
Ennis-Hill’s fifth-place effort yielded her 1,089 points, putting her on course for the 6,200 total needed to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The 29-year-old Sheffield athlete triumphed emphatically in her last appearance in Gotzis in 2012 and moved up to second overall thanks to her 1.86m effort in the high jump.
Ennis-Hill has collected 2,143 points after two events and trails leader Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Canada by 67 points